Brian Staley defeated former commissioner Tom Rice in the race for Port Washington Police Commissioner on Dec. 8. Staley received 787 votes, to Rice’s 393. Staley has been in served the Port Washington community for more than 35 years. The retired deputy chief made history this year by becoming the first black commissioner elected to the Port Washington Police District’s (PWPD) board. On the morning of the election, Staley thanked his family and friends as well as those he met during this campaign journey.
“It is truly heartwarming to have been the recipient of so many good wishes and to witness your efforts on my behalf,” Staley said in a written statement on his campaign’s Facebook page.
The Port Washington Police District’s three commissioners each serve three year terms. Staley will serve alongside acting commissioners Frank Scobbo and Angela Mullins. This is the second time a police commissioner has been unseated by a challenger. During the 2019 election, Scobbo was defeated by incumbent Dave Franklin. Mullins was elected in 2010 and her seat is up for reelection in 2021. Commissioner Rice was first elected 2017, defeating James Duncan.
Both Rice and Staley ran their campaign platform focusing on the need for capital funds to improve the PWPD’s building headquarters. Staley also sought to bring a level of honesty, transparency and inclusiveness between the community members and the police district.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the community of Port Washington, as Police Commissioner, over the past three years,” Rice said in a statement to the Port Washington News. “I was able to accomplish a lot during this time, and I look forward to seeing the department continue on this positive path. I hope to see the Port Washington Police Department in a building with facilities that reflect the town and live up to the standards expected by residents as well as officers. Specifically, I would like to thank the three chiefs, who are all diligent and committed members of the force, along with the administrative staff for their hard work. I am ready to help the new commissioner during the transition process. It is most important for me to thank my wife for her commitment to me, as well as the town, during my service. As lifelong residents of this community, who raised our family here, we want our friends and supporters to know that we appreciate them and plan to continue to work hard for the town we love.”
On the evening of Dec. 8, Staley posted a video to his campaign’s Facebook page announcing his victory. Many people were cheering in the background as Staley entered a room filled with supporters.
“I’d like to thank all of you for all of the support you’ve given me,” Staley said to the camera. “I promise you, I’m going to hear your voice and do the best for the Police Department and this community.”